If you’re looking for unique fall fashions, there’s no need to buy a plane ticket to New York or Paris. Just fill up your gas tank – the coolest clothes and most eye-catching accessories are those you make or embellish yourself, and some of the best DIY fashion stores are found in our backyard.
Creating your own jealousy-inducing jewelry is a snap at Beadbury, an expansive shop offering beads of every hue and shape imaginable. Their vast selection includes materials such as metals, glass, pearls, wood, shells and bone, as well as chains and strings, tools and idea-inspiring magazines and guides.
Not into jewelry? No bother—create an elegant handle for a serving spoon, a unique marker for your wine glass or a funky lampshade accent piece. Beaded items make great gifts or conversation-starters for your own home.
Beadbury’s spacious classroom, shared with their “sister store” We’re Stampin’ Mad, hosts frequent classes to help bring out your beading bravado. Learn to use beads in all mediums, from stitching to metalworking. Beadbury, 300 5th Ave. SE, Osseo; 763.425.4520
Tucked away in the neighborhood-like Weaver Lake Business Park, Amazing Threads is a rarity: a store that lives up to its name. The shop’s selection of yarn, thread, pattern books and magazines—not to mention the expert know-how of its friendly staff—is truly amazing.
Westminster Fibers thinks so, too: The country’s largest yarn distributor has chosen Amazing Threads to serve as one of three concept stores, ensuring that Amazing Threads customers get the newest, trendiest yarns months before anyone else. The store also recently won a Business Innovation Award from the National Needlearts Association.
But more than just a trendsetter, Amazing Threads is also a community builder. It offers knitting classes for all skill levels and hosts several regular groups, such as Tuesday morning’s SSK (Sit, Sip and Knit) and Junior Knit Camp for kids. Knitting Club members receive yarn discounts and other special offers, like pre-sale shopping and a free pattern each month.
“It’s truly become a community,” says Amazing Threads owner Bobbi Kreb, noting that her customers range in age from 9 years old to 90. “Knitting gives people a reason to socialize and enjoy each other’s company.”Amazing Threads, 11262 86th Ave. N., Maple Grove; 763.391.7700
Just Relax ‘n Stitch
Maybe making your own clothing from scratch isn’t for you, but that doesn’t mean you can’t personalize the pieces you already have. Head over to Just Relax n’ Stitch in Osseo for supplies and lessons in embroidery, surface stitch, cross-stitch and punch-needle work.
Embellish a scarf or blouse, create a handmade Christmas stocking or make a one-of-a-kind pillow or framed work of art. Or, get back to your Norwegian heritage by learning Hardanger embroidery, in which fabric is stitched, cut and re-woven to make intricate, lacy patterns. Not only does Just Relax n’ Stitch offer all the supplies you need, it offers a quiet place to work; overstuffed chairs nestled next to a fireplace and coffeemaker encourage people to, well, just relax and stitch.
Need lessons? Join one of the myriad classes or drop by for some private tutoring—owners (and long-time friends) Rachel Hautamaki and Jill Engstrom are happy to share their expertise.
“We’re here to help people get excited about an art, a hobby they can have for themselves,” Jill says. “The craft has evolved over the years, so we encourage people who haven’t tried cross-stitch in years to come back in.” Just Relax n’ Stitch, 8833 Jefferson Highway, Osseo; 763.898.3419.